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Tuesday's study, conducted by George Washington University's Milken Institute School of Public Health and released on Tuesday, was billed as the most comprehensive yet.

The figure of 2,975 came from a comparison between predicted mortality under normal circumstances and deaths detailed after the hurricane landed in September 2017 and in the following five months to February 2018.

The death toll of Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico has jumped from 64 to almost 3,000 after an official report was released.

The new toll, which puts the figure significantly higher than the 1,883 deaths after Hurricane Katrina, is likely to further fuel the long simmering debate about exactly how many people were killed by Hurricane Maria.

Financial instability and a fragile infrastructure made the Caribbean island particularly vulnerable to such weather events, Santos-Burgoa said. "THEY WILL NOT BE FORGOTTEN", she added.

"Every death is a horror, but if you look at a real catastrophe like Katrina and you look at the tremendous hundreds and hundreds of people that died and what happened here with a storm that was just totally overbearing, no one has ever seen anything like that", Trump said during a visit to the USA territory in October 2017.

A Harvard University study, published in May, estimated that there were 4,645 more deaths in Puerto Rico due to the storm.

On Tuesday, Governor Ricardo Rosselló officially raised the hurricane's death toll to match the report's findings, making Maria the deadliest USA hurricane since a 1900 storm that hit Texas.

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The study found that while all age groups and social strata were affected by the hurricane, the risk of death was "45% higher and persistent until the end of the study period for populations living in low socioeconomic development municipalities".

Additional research must be done to understand how the hurricane was involved in the excess deaths identified in this study.

The Center for Investigative Journalism, Puerto Rico, in a joint project with CNN, is analyzing thousands of post-Maria death certificates to try to determine an accurate death count.

That total is a dramatic increase from the long-held count of 64, which the administration of Gov. Ricardo Rossello left unchanged in the 11 months since the storm.

Acrow supplied 12 bridges to PRHTA and two bridges to contractors working for Eastern Federal Lands, a part of the U.S. Department of Transportation, it said.

The report goes on to say that "physician unawareness of appropriate death certification practices after a natural disaster and the Government of Puerto Rico's lack of communication about death certificate reporting prior to the 2017 hurricane season substantially limited the count of deaths related to Maria".

The team also found that poor communication about deaths after the disaster, and especially the distinction between deaths directly related to the storm and those indirectly tied to it, contributed to confusion and consternation among members of the public.

Thus, like other jurisdictions that are part of the USA, the death certification process can lead to an undercount of deaths related to disasters like Hurricane Maria. "We used very rigorous methodology".